If you’ve been jealous of your fellow Googlers in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane getting ‘live’ traffic updates via Google Maps, whether on your PC, iPhone or Android, Googlers in Adelaide and Perth need be jealous no more!
If you’ve been missing out on the Google love that the ever-searching company has been trafficking to Sydney-siders, Melbournites and Bris-Vegans, the citizens of Adelaide and Perth can traffic in self-pity no more.
Why? Because Google has brought its live traffic info to Google Maps, and a quick check on my iPhone shows that not only does this info work on Google Maps on the desktop, but it does on the iPhone (and undoubtedly Android phones) too.
It’s a feature that US citizens have enjoyed for a bazillion years, and while it seemed like it would never make it to the far reaches of Terra Australis, that has all now changed, with 5 major Australian cities now the beneficiaries of Google’s generosity, and presumably, more still to come.
The news was announced via Google’s official Austalian blog in a post entitled “More road traffic information and better mobile maps in Australia”, and has been billed as a way to help Aussies in one of the 5 qualifying cities “get around during your summer break.”
If you’re a Google Maps user on your desktop or notebook computer, Google advises us that, to “turn traffic information on, click the button labelled ‘Traffic’ next to the ‘More’ button at the top left of Google Maps.”
The same can be done on the iPhone by tapping in the bottom right hand corner to “curl up” the page, whereupon traffic info can be switched on.
The goodly Googlers advise that “the colours you’ll see overlaid on the roads correspond to the speed of traffic (relative to the speed limit of the road): green is free sailing, yellow is medium congestion, red is heavy congestion, and red/black is stop-and-go traffic. The information is updated every few minutes.”
Google also advises that its new “Google Maps for Android 5.0” is also available, offering 3D maps, the ability to zoom in and tilt maps, 3D interaction, offline access (caching) and offline rerouting when using Google Maps Navigation.
Google says “these new features create a faster, more interactive experience where efficiency really matters: on mobile devices.
“For example, we estimate that viewing maps now requires almost 70% less mobile network data overall than before. Also, your phone can now help you get to places even when you lose a mobile signal. We can’t wait to take the next steps in making Google Maps faster, more reliable, and even more useful no matter where you take it.”
iPhone owners miss out on this one, at least for now, as Google gets all guns blazing on the iDevice platform in preference to its own, rapidly growing, universe of Android OS devices.
Remember, to take advantage of the Google Maps for Android 5.0 update, you’ll need to pop into the Android Market, search for Google Maps, and then download the new version – it will safely overwrite the old version and deliver you all that Googly mapping goodness!